One of the most important things we can do when working with children is maintain a sense of humor. Let’s be honest – children don’t need another boring adult telling them what to do. Children want to be around people who are young at heart – people who can have fun and laugh with them! It’s important that we’re able to interact with children at their level. 

Of course this doesn’t mean that we’re making dirty jokes or laughing at inappropriate things. And this doesn’t mean that we’re just goofing off all the time. We do need to maintain boundaries and we need to make sure we’re setting positive examples. But we also need to let loose and have fun, in order to meet children where they are, connecting to and encouraging their playful side as well.

It’s definitely a balance – one that is constantly refined over the course of working with kids. But we never want to swing too far to either side. We never want to be so goofy and silly that kids don’t respect us or don’t see us a positive role models, and we never want to be so serious that kids don’t enjoy being with us. There’s a fine line. But we have to maintain a sense of humor and a spirit of playfulness in everything we do.

It’s all about the relationship. We have to constantly ask ourselves, “How can I connect with this child?” We have to make the kids feel comfortable and accepted. We want to create a safe place for them to be who they are. We have to invite that in, and allow it to flourish and grow. One way we can do that is by maintaining an (appropriate) sense of humor and youthful attitude.

So when you’re working with teenagers, don’t forget to have a little fun!

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